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Biological Oddities of a Transcendental Nature

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The command center of plants and speaking to a transcendental cantaloupe

(2nd edition - April 2008) by A.O. Kime
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Assuredly, it would sound preposterous to openly state that a cantaloupe plant is psychic and especially receptive to humans. It would be a case for the nuthouse! But hold on… until truths are discovered and brought out into the open, often they too once dwelled preposterously. Actually, in strict accordance with pragmaticism, life itself is preposterousness. Yet, ever-so contradictious, practical people seem to believe in life. Even scientists believe in life. Surely they must, I think... although obviously not when they're at work. Aside from that little poke at science for having kept us in the dark concerning the metaphysical processes of biological life, we'll pick up where science cannot go and dares not tread.

Even though this article was inspired by a cantaloupe plant, that doesn’t necessarily make it a typical agricultural article, but it is, nonetheless, agriculturally related. Before relating a mystifying yet somewhat amusing story about a gardener’s experience with a small cantaloupe plant, it needs to be prefaced thusly:

Speaking to plants

Perhaps it can be said organic gardening could include speaking to plants, communicating with them. After all, since many people believe plants respond to them, and even music, this phenomenon seems within the same ballpark as organic gardening. A justifiable reason is because speaking to plants seems ‘spiritual’… and anything spiritual is just as natural as anything organic. It isn’t stretching the notion too far… in the greater sense all things natural are within the same ballpark. I’ll explain the spiritual relationship shortly.

While we all know any distinctions between spiritual matters are extremely blurry, and often seem interconnected, nobody really knows where ‘communicating with plants’ ought to belong. This apparent ability belongs somewhere so why not consider it part of organic farming? As for the music… we’ve all heard of the experiments to determine how it affects plants. Plants respond well to soft music, we’ve been told, whereas plants do poorly to psychedelic (acid) rock… often to whither and die. I don’t know where to suggest putting a plant’s music preferences though, neither would science. Scientists wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole.

At any rate, there is still much we don’t know about plants, specifically how they manage to ‘know’ certain things… or perhaps I should say ‘sense’ them. Under whichever term is preferable however, both require the processing of data… yet, where does this processing occur? Science (plant genetics) doesn’t go any farther than saying (effectively) it is all encoded in its DNA sequences and carried out by the action of genes. We owe it to ourselves to go further.

Action of genes... sidestepping biological life processes

If its ‘processing center’ cannot be isolated somewhere within the plant, then it seems to indicate the ‘brains’ of a plant must be throughout its entire system… from its root zone to its furthermost leaf. At least that’s what the theory ‘action of genes’ seems to say… but, it says so incompletely, because it speaks only about the mechanics. All living cells follow genetic instructions but it doesn’t tell us how plants manage their internal workings cooperatively... and they must, somehow, manage them. So a few questions linger… is the data processing done within the protoplasm of each individual cell? Or within its cellulous fibers? In order to grow in an orchestrated fashion, cooperatively, in choreographed unison… how does one cell know exactly what all the other cells are doing? Or is there a central brain which science cannot find?

While essentially a plant is a genetically preprogrammed marvel (like any living thing), still, it seems, a plant must have a command center. After all, there are decisions to be made… when the temperature is right to sprout and bloom, how to deal with the heat, how to ascertain vertical and much more. A plant needs to 'think' just the same as any creature and might even lead a hectic and frustrating life. Combating bugs in slow motion must be maddening... not to mentions the wars with other plants over elbowroom. While we all have long considered plants, trees and bushes (all vegetation) as passive living things, as if having no awareness… I think perhaps we’ve been wrong.

While it has been obvious for centuries that the decision-making aspects of a plant must be astronomically different, and while science has amassed a huge amount of knowledge about plants this past century, information on this difference is still missing. For example, within the animal kingdom the ‘central command’ is a physical brain, the gelatinous glob of tissue inside a creature’s head… yet a plant doesn’t have such a brain yet can still make intelligent decisions. But how?

Within the kingdom of plants (Plantae), even though there are no obvious nervous or sensory organs, not in trees, nor vines, nor shrubs… that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Plants react to certain things and they couldn’t do so without a nervous system and sensory organs of some type. For example, they can sense the temperature and react to moisture. In short, they sense and react. While science has identified the xylem and phloem as somewhat the vascular system of vegetation (trees, shrubs, plants, etc.), the plant's mysterious nervous system and sensory organs are bound to be close by... if not within the xylem and phloem. The phloem transports the products of photosynthesis from the leaves to the roots whereas the xylem conducts water and minerals up from the roots for distribution to the entire plant. They may do more than that however since serving double-duty is not all that unusual within nature. For example, all vascular systems also heal. The point is, plants assuredly do have a nervous system and sensory organs and that equates to having awareness.

To date, while science is able to explain almost everything about a plant, all its physiological aspects, I cannot find any satisfactory explanation as to wherefrom within a plant the decision-making instructions come from. There is a lot more explaining to do than just calling it the ‘action of genes’… and that, apparently, is as far as science has gotten in this area. Considering the dazzling results of plant biology over the past century, and horticulture in general, their inability to explain the force or subordinate forces coordinating the 'action of genes' within plants says the facts must be totally bizarre… completely out-of-bounds for pragmaticism (scientific thought).

We shouldn't forget, even humans are controlled by the ‘action of genes’ (using that phrase)… actions which also construct the physical makeup of the human body and our highly complex organs. Yet, curiously, science doesn’t describe the modus operandi of animal intelligence quite so simply, that is, being merely the result of DNA instructions embedded within the cells. I suppose that's because all animals have recognizable brains... an identifiable command center. For humans, science is a bit more specific by citing the subconscious mind as the command center… because it is known to manage all bodily functions. The conscious mind plays absolutely no role in regulating however nor has any control over our subconscious mind nor the actions of genes. Our conscious mind is merely awareness, and while it is also a processing center, it is mostly of empty pages. The conscious mind can be likened to a hitchhiker looking out the window of a car belonging to subconsciousness.

Actually, our conscious mind is the only incompetent part of our entire body… born entirely ignorant and thus the weak link. It doesn't matter how ultimately intelligent a human becomes, relatively speaking, it will always fall short of being comparable to the subconscious mind and will never match the intelligence of genes. That was a slap to knock scientific intelligence back to its senses. It is deserving though... aside from science never admitting to its ignorance about life forces, sure to avoid the subject altogether, but by ignoring it they're also teaching students to ignore it. After all, if you sweep an elephant under the rug, you still have an elephant.

Awareness within the kingdom of plants?

As far as plant life having awareness, it surely does but consciousness may come in 86 different flavors… we can’t imagine how a plant may perceive things. To say plants don’t have consciousness would actually be a compliment though… it would be saying, in effect, they have no intellectual weaknesses. By virtue of the calculating consciousness of humans, able and willing to countermand its omniscient subconsciousness, humans may not be the smartest creatures on earth after all, but one of the dumbest. The world's sad state of affairs serves as testimony. After all, God didn't do it, our subconscious mind didn't do it, our genes didn't do it... only man's conscious mind did it. Humans are the only creatures who decided God must be wrong and changed things.

As a much different life form, vegetation offers a better opportunity than animals to understand life itself. But that’s a tall order for any thought system with an anti-theism doctrine... and with science having been stymied for 2,000 years should be proof of its limits.

My anonymous gardener’s cantaloupe story…

"I had experienced something very strange with a cantaloupe plant recently which I’m somewhat hesitant to reveal. While this tale isn’t equal to Jack and the Beanstalk, it is bizarre just the same. It concerns a cantaloupe plant I recently transplanted… with three true leaves, developing its fourth and it was about three inches tall. But first, I need to preface the story.

Even though I was once a family farmer for 25 years, I’ve never really spoke to plants, although I’ve always believed plants are probably responsive to such things as sound and vibrations. After my recent experience however, which prompted me to believe plants are indeed capable of responding to humans, I’ve also began to believe a plant picking up on human vibrations could be a spiritual matter.

I’m fairly new to gardening however; not accustomed to dealing with plants on a one-on-one basis, this year is only my 3rd or 4th undertaking. I’ve found it quite different than farming too, and more difficult… so therefore I was a much better farmer than I am a gardener. In fact, I’m a lousy gardener.

Actually, I didn’t intend to speak to this cantaloupe plant either… what I said just slipped out. But have I prefaced this story enough yet? Will someone think I’m crazy if I don’t? Well, rather than risk it, bear with me as I try to explain what I think is behind it; why what happened, happened.

Let’s go back to the spiritual aspect of speaking to plants… assuming it is spiritual, although one might want to call it 'psychic transcendence'. But why wouldn’t speaking to plants be spiritual? What else could it be? Yet, is speaking to a dog spiritual too? Speaking to plants seems quite different than speaking to a dog though… in that dogs and humans are both part of the animal kingdom. Looking at it that way, the divide isn’t as great. Although, at least to some degree, maybe speaking to a dog is kinda psychic. Perhaps one could even say one human speaking to another has some spiritual aspect to it.

Because the divide is so great between plants and humans, it seems to me only a spiritual connection can bridge that gap. Plants and humans therefore can only understand each other, well, 'psychically' or 'psychically transcendentally' (whatever)… although surely it’s a case that plants can understand us humans far better than we can understand them. Of all living things, since humans are generally less connected to nature, humans would be then… less spiritual.

Even though I don’t know of anyone personally who has openly claimed to have ‘picked up on’ anything a plant wanted, or felt, I have sensed it is true by the way people fuss over their plants. It seems as if a secretive conversation is going on. Strangely, just like most writers won’t admit being influenced by the muse (of Greek mythology), gardeners seem to prefer keeping this to themselves.

While almost anyone can tell when a plant needs water, still, I don’t know for sure if a plant ever projected to a human a ‘vibration’ that it wanted water… or that it was too cold, or too hot, or that it wanted more sunshine. Maybe some people have picked up on these ‘vibrations’, but I haven’t… at least not yet.

Now, due to the fact I had never experienced a ‘result’ from a conversation with a plant before this single case, one might think I’m therefore not qualified to write about ‘communicating with plants’. While normally that would be a legitimate point except how many times does one get to experience a phenomenon multiple times? Rarely… besides, once is often enough.

If communicating with plants is transcendentally spiritual, at least more-so than communicating with an animal or another human, and since it seems plants can pick up human vibrations more than humans can pick up theirs, then perhaps plants are more ‘spiritually minded’ than humans. But plants don’t have ‘minds’… do they? If they do, where are its brains? Yet… it knows when to sprout, it knows when to flower and it knows about the importance of growing vertical. Those are just a few things plants know but even if that’s all a plant knew… then it must have a mind… somewhere. Nor, does it seem, it could communicate without one.

At this point people would surely say in response… “it is all pre-programmed in the seed” or “it’s instinctual” or “it’s in its genes” or something to that effect. Well, that’s true even with humans but it seems more than that. Actually, in view of how much humans are alike, true to their species, just as much as plants and animals are, and because we are human… we would therefore know of our own complexity, more-so than (say) another intelligent species could see, and, importantly, we would also know much of it is unfathomable. But we would only know what we know because we are human, we’ve got an inside perspective… not so when it comes to understanding plants and animals. The information gathered from dissecting a frog and understanding the frog are two different things. Dissecting only has the potential to explain its mechanical workings.

In lieu of plants having brains in the physical, I think perhaps plants have what could be called ‘spiritual brains’. These spiritual brains could be described as being somewhat like our subconscious mind which has a huge spiritual aspect to it. To explain the spiritual connection would take us off on a tangent however and is another subject for the purpose of this tale. For more on this see the Divine Intellect (divine intelligence).

So what about the cantaloupe plant?

As most gardeners probably know, plants often go into shock shortly after being transplanted… and this is often noticeable within minutes. Their leaves begin to wilt and their stems become limp. Often within 20 minutes the plant is laying flat, horizontal. The degree of shock however depends upon how much of the root system was destroyed in the process of transplanting. If it’s possible to dig up the entire root system, with the same dirt surrounding the tiny feeder roots undisturbed, then there is virtually no shock.

Well, just after I had transplanted one… with most of the roots intact but without any soil attached (none whatsoever) since its seedling soil was sandy and crumbled away, I then dangled this bare-rooted plant in the hole with one hand and added soil with the other. I then knew I needed to water it. I got a small cup of water and while gently pushing the wet soil down to assure there weren’t any air-pockets in the root zone, by then the plant wouldn’t remain erect. No matter how I packed the soil around it, whether more on one side and less on the other, this small cantaloupe plant would just flop to one side and then the other. After about 5-6 attempts to get it to stay vertical, and during my last attempt, I unconsciously said aloud “don’t do that (again)"… whereupon the stem immediately stiffened and remained upright thereafter. I was somewhat dazzled by this and was thinking to myself… “this plant actually heard and obeyed me”!

Ah, now wait a minute!! What am I saying? There must be a rational explanation! Surely this plant didn’t obey my command… I’d be nuts if I went on thinking that. Good grief! I apologize to all who read this.

Although the quest for globalization began with controlling farm production, as a predictable consequence was the
outsourcing of manufacturing jobs spelling the end of the American dream. See Outsourcing... the killer plague of
the American Dream

In summary

Whether there is a rational explanation for this case, it doesn't really matter. What does matter is that the incident, true or imagined, raises the question whether we've been looking at plant life wrong all these years. Perhaps plants, trees and shrubs have more awareness than we've ever imagined. And, since purportedly the intelligence of animals vary, perhaps it's the case with plants as well, that some plants are 'smarter' than others. It is unknown whether anyone has ever tried to determine this but 'adaptability' could be a gauge.

A.O. Kime

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Last modified: 02/08/16